Minnesota senator shares past experience with depression

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is sharing her experiences with depression. (Source: Gray DC)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota is sharing her experiences with depression for the first time as she calls for more federal funding for mental health programs.

The Star Tribune reports the Democrat says she battled depression as a teenager and in her late 30s. Smith says help was available whenever she needed it, but she realizes that isn't the case for everyone.

She believes that sharing her story can build mental health awareness and political momentum for a measure that would bring more support services to schools.

Smith is pushing for Congress to approve $1 billion in grants over five years for school districts to partner with local organizations to provide mental health services.

Smith's measure only has support from Democrats in the GOP-controlled Senate at the moment.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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